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Pyun Group Members

Current Group Members


Taeheon Lee (Post-doc, 2018-present)

  • B. S. in Polymer Science & Engineering, Pusan National University, Korea (Mar, 2006 - Feb, 2011)
  • M. S. in Polymer Science & Engineering, Pusan National University, Korea (Mar, 2011 - Feb, 2013)
  • Ph D. in Polymer Science & Engineering, Pusan National University, Korea (Mar, 2013 – Feb, 2018)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona (Mar, 2018-present)
  • taeheonlee1379@email.arizona.edu 

Graduate Students

Frida Zhang (PhD, 2013-present)                                                           


  • P.hD. Chemistry, University of Arizona, 8/2013-present
  • B.S. Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin, China, 5/2013
  • Email: yueyanz@email.arizona.edu

Frida has been working on increasing the scope of sulfur copolymerization by synthesizing liquid polysulfide.

Tristan Kleine (PhD, 2014-present)

  • P.hD. Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2014-present
  • B.S. Chemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Email: tkleine@email.arizona.edu

Tristan was born and raised in the Bay Area in California and then moved to San Luis Obispo where he attended Cal Poly, SLO (2010-2014). While there, he worked with Prof. Phil Costanzo studying the dynamic topology of polymers assembled with Diels-Alder weak links/dynamic covalent bonds. He then moved to Tucson and The University of Arizona in 2014 to begin his graduate career with Prof. Jeffrey Pyun. Tristan is currently exploring the synthesis of high sulfur content materials and other high refractive index polymers for the fabrication of infrared (IR) optical and photonic devices. 

Metin Karayilan (PhD, 2014-present)

  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2014-present
  • M.Sc. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Koc University, Turkey, 2014
  • B.S. Chemistry, Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2011
  • Email: metinkarayilan@email.arizona.edu

Metin was born in Izmir, grew up in Istanbul and studied in Ankara, Turkey and came to US in 2014 to work with Dr. Pyun. He has been working on metallopolymers and high sulfur content polysulfides.

Kyle Carothers (PhD, 2016-present)

  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2016-present
  • B.S. Chemistry, Manchester University, 2016
  • Email: kjcarothers2016@email.arizona.edu

Kyle is a first-year graduate student working in the Pyun group. He is originally from Glendale, Arizona, but did his undergraduate work in northern Indiana. For his undergraduate work he created new azo dyes and tested their thermochromic (color change with temperature), pH color dependence, and their sonochromic (color change with sound) properties. He graduated from Manchester University in the spring of 2016 and headed straight into graduate school. He is currently working on the sulfur polymer project and hopes to make contributions to the future of polymer chemistry.

Weijun Sun (PhD, 2017-present) (co-PI with Prof. Scott Saavedra)

  • wsun@email.arizona.edu 

Allison Newton (PhD, 2018-present) (co-PI with Prof. Scott Saavedra)

  • canewton@email.arizona.edu 

Undergraduate Researchers

Katrina Konopka (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2016-present)

  • Email: kkonopka@email.arizona.edu

Katrina is from Greenville, South Carolina. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Arizona pursuing a degree in biochemistry.  She is also a member of the University of Arizona swim team.  Her undergraduate research involves a focus on high sulfur content copolymers and their optical applications.

Lindsey Holmen (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2017-present)


  • lholmen@email.arizona.edu

Keelee McCleary-Petersen (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2018-present)

Keelee is originally from North Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Chandler, Arizona at the start of high school. She is currently pursuing a bachelors of science in chemistry at the University of Arizona and recently joined the Pyun group as an undergraduate researcher in the summer of 2018.

  • Email: keeleecmcpete@email.arizona.edu

Jordan Meise (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2017-present)

  • jmeise@email.arizona.edu 

Anthony Phan (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2018-present)

  • anthonyphan760@email.arizona.edu 

Alyza Khan (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2018-present)

  • alyzamk@email.arizona.edu 

Tobias Kochenderfer (UnderGraduate Researcher, 2018-present)

  • tkochenderfer1@email.arizona.edu 


Nick Pavlopoulos (PhD, 2012-2017; Post-doc, 2017-2018)

  • Email: ngpavlopoulos@email.arizona.edu

Laura Anderson (MSc, 2015-2017)

  • lauraa@email.arizona.edu

Philip Dirlam (PhD, 2011-2016)

  • PhD Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2016
  • M.S. Polymers and Coatings Science, California Polytechnic State University, 2011
  • B.S. Chemistry, California Polytechnic State University, 2011
  • Email: dirlam@email.arizona.edu

Philip Dirlam is originally from New Ulm, MN.  After high school he moved to San Luis Obispo, CA where he completed his B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Polymers and Coatings at California Polytechnic State University.

Jared Griebel (PhD, 2015)

  • PhD Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2015
  • B.S. Polymer Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2010
  • Email: jjg34email.arizona.edu

Jared is originally from Truth or Consequences, NM. While obtaining his degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University he worked with Dr. Pyun during the summers of 2008 and 2009 on the synthesis of magnetic colloidal nanoparticles. As a graduate student in the group he focused on the development of chemsitry and processing methods for the preparation of sulfur containing polymers with applications in energy and optics.

Lawrence Hill (PhD, 2014)

  • PhD Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2009-2014
  • B.S. Chemistry (ACS), Southeastern Louisiana University, 2009
  • Email:  ljhillemail.arizona.edu

His research was focused on cobalt/chalcogenide heterostructures and his interests include: synthesis of new magnetic and semiconducting nanoparticles, asymmetric nanoparticle synthesis, colloidal self-assembly, surface chemistry of colloids, and applications of nanoparticles for catalysis and energy storage. Lawrence is also interested in educating and mentoring in the sciences.

Adam Simmonds (Post-doc)

  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate at University of Arizona, 2010-2016
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Arizona, 2009
  • B.S. Chemistry, Drury University, 1999
  • Email: simmonds.chem@ymail.com

Adam was involved in research focused on the analytical chemistry and electrochemistry of applied materials in functional energy devices (batteries, photovoltaics, etc). More specifically he worked on the fabrication, testing, analysis, and optimization of novel battery materials.

Woo Jin Chung (Post-Doc)

  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate at University of Arizona, 2007-2014
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004-2007
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, State University of New York at Albany, 2004
  • M.S. Chemistry, Yonsei University, 1999
  • B.S. Chemistry, Yonsei University, 1997
  • Email: wjchungemail.arizona.edu

Dr. Woo Jin Chung is originally from Suwon, Korea. After moving to the United States for an advanced degree, he received Ph.D. degree under supervision of Professor John T. Welch in the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York at Albany. In 2009 he joined the Pyun group and has expanded his research interest into the areas of polymer chemistry and materials science.  He was involved in the synthesis of ferromagnetic cobalt nanoparticles on multi-gram scale with polymeric ligand with tunable size.  He demonstrated the novel utilization of sulfur as reactive medium for gold nanoparticles and nanocomposite materials.  His research focus was on the utilization of sulfur for the synthesis of nanoparticles and polymeric materials for applications in optics and energy.

Guoxing Li (Post-doc)

  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate at University of Arizona, 2011-2013
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2011
  • M.S. Chemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2008
  • B.S. Chemistry, Linyi Normal University, 2005
  • Email: guoxingliemail.arizona.edu

Guoxing was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Pyun Group and investigated the preparation of well-defined block copolymers of functional polystyrenics and polysulfides using a combination of RAFT and TAGT. The key attractive feature of this approach is the ability to precisely control the number of functional groups in the polystyrenic segments (e.g., electroactive ProDOTs) and polysulfide segments by control of chain length and composition.

Junhyuk Lee (Visiting PhD Student, 2017)

  • ljh8335@kaist.ac.kr

Junhyuk is a visiting PhD student from KAIST, Korea. He received his M.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from KAIST. He started in the Polymers Nano Electronic Laboratory during his Masters under the Supervision of Prof. Bumjoon. J. Kim with a project focused on stimuli-responsive polymer-based functional hybrid nanomaterials. He is currently working on synthesis of novel sulfur content block copolymer and collaboration with stimuli-responsive polymer.

Inaki Gomez (Visiting PhD Student, 2017-present)

  • Email: inaki.gomez@polymat.eu

Iñaki is a visiting PhD studen from BERC-POLYMAT, Spain. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Polymeric Materials from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He started in the Innovative Polymers Group during his Master´s under the Supervision of Prof. David Mecerreyes with a project focused on exploring the tunability of the counter anions of Poly(ionic liquids) with Copper Halides. Nowadays he is in his 3rd year PhD focused on the synthesis of novel high Sulfur content Polymers for Lithium-Sulfur batteries in a colaboration project betwen BERC-POLYMAT and IK4-Cidetec.

Won Tae Joe (Visiting PhD Student)

Eui Tae Kim (Visiting PhD Student)

Younghun Sung (Visiting PhD Student)

Michael Manchester (Undergraduate Researcher, 2015-2017)

Austin Scriver (Undergraduate Researcher, 2016-2017)

Jeffrey DuBose (Undergraduate Researcher, 2013-2017)

Clay Arrington (Undergraduate Researcher)

Erin Hartnett (Undergraduate Researcher)

Kyle Arrington (Undergraduate Researcher)

Eli Lavoie-Higgins (Undergraduate Researcher)

John Ji (Undergraduate Researcher)

Nathaniel Richey (Undergraduate Researcher)